Day 22 – My sister (aka, the trigger)

Wow, you all are geniuses and psychoanalysts in disguise.  I had several take aways from your comments as I incorporated them into my own thoughts:

1. I’m mad at my sister for things I “should” be mad at my mother about, but my sister mothered me throughout high school and college in a way that my mother did not, so that is why it is directed at Sister A.

2. Sister A naturally feels alot of responsibility and over-attachment to the people she loves, me included.

3. When I was younger Sister B refused to play barbies and dolls with me but Sister A would always play even though she was too old for them.

4. I feel like who I really am does not match up with the vision of who Sister A thinks I am.  I actually think she may think too highly of me and that creates an overall feeling that she doesn’t really listen to me or hear me.  Then I censor myself so I won’t ruin her version of me.

5. Sister B doesn’t care about those things.  We have a great relationship and I love spending time with her and her family.  That must suck for Sister A to possibly feel like she puts so much care, time and effort into me and I go and like Sister B better.

6. Sister A brings on alot of her own problems because she is an overly responsible person because she finds it gratifying in some way.  BUT, there is also an aspect of that coming from childhood conditioning because she was given too much responsibility for us.  I’m just trying to say that I get where it comes from, but she doesn’t have to keep doing it (but I also understand that it must be hard for her to feel so much responsibility for others).

7. Sister B might be a representation of my father.  He’s great and all but he worked a ton and my mom was the primary parent.  I can’t really be mad at him because he didn’t do anything wrong, he just kind of did nothing.

8. My sister seems to like getting heavily involved in a project or cause.  She didn’t just start scrapbooking, she became a company rep. and sold the stuff too.  She didn’t just have children, she started a mother’s group and has maintained it for seven years!  She doesn’t just keep a tidy house, she has every kind of shelving system there is and everything has a shelf or container.  She doesn’t just buy a store cake, she gets a whole cake kit and bakes it at home.  BUT, she also abandons these causes/interests after some period of time (mother’s group will likely be the exception because that involves enduring relationships).  She seems to easily feel guilt and obligation.  She’s super emotional, but does not have a temper.

9. I just sent Sister A a text and said, “Sorry I wasn’t so talkative last night, I have a lot going on.  I hope the girls had a great day at school.” Maybe I’ll figure out a way to work in a follow up conversation related to the reasons I was not talkative (because I wanted to scream at you because you were being critical of me and it set me off).

10.  I think we could work through this with lots of tears.  I think I could acknowledge that she has done more than enough for me and we can just be friends now.

11.  Starting a blog is the best choice I’ve made in a long time.  Sister A has a blog that is pretty popular in the Mothering genre and is locally known for it.  Interesting.


8 thoughts on “Day 22 – My sister (aka, the trigger)

  1. One more thing…if you haven’t you might want to read Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements. Wonderful book. I have them hanging right here where I can read them daily, and the book was just recommended to another blogger today. 🙂

  2. i think your assessments of your relationships here make sense. again, as the older sister in my family, thinking that we can now ‘turn off the responsibility’ switch is a hard one. i want to think more about how i can do that in my life 🙂 with my sisters, though, the weird thing is that when i do less, they do less, and then everyone stands around waiting for me to do more again. For example, the unfortunate truth is that i’m the only one who initiates phone calls with my sisters. they never call me. ever. when i asked my mom once what she thought of that, she said something dysfunctional like “well, you’re the oldest.” but if my sisters see me ‘parentally’ (subconsciously) then if i don’t reach out it means i don’t care enough, etc. it gets tense and weird really quickly. and as the biggie, all i want is for someone to call me and wonder about my life. instead of the other way around.

    sorry to hijack your post with this comment! If families are like a ‘system’ then if one part moves, the others all move (think of a mobile). if one dips lower the others all raise at the same time. so yes, getting coordinated change would take good communication (as you suggest, with lots of tears perhaps). i think it’s worth it though. you might be surprised to find out that sister A wishes things were different, too (if she’s anything like me!)

    • thanks belle. I really appreciate your perspective. There was a time, about 10 years ago, when Sister A and I stopped calling and seeing each other, and it was because I expected her to do all the work. Around that time we also had an argument (just remembered all this) that I remember vaguely about her not acting like my mother and just being a friend. Since then I take equal responsibility to uphold our relationship. I don’t tell her this…but I do still wish she would call me just to check on me and ask me how I am (knowing full well that is the selfish youngest child archetype coming out of me). I grew up getting alot of attention from my family and it extended into my 20s because I was single w/o children, and now that I’m just like any other grown-ass adult, and there are grandchildren, I don’t get shit. I’m okay with it, but it was a bit of an ego blow at first!

  3. Very interesting stuff. I’ve got 5 sisters so i won’t even go into all the dynamics here. Let’s just say i’ve spent a lot of time over the years thinking about our various roles and how unuseful most of them are (the roles, that is. Not my sisters).
    Good for you for delving deep and working out ways to make those relationships better. I’m very happy you chose to start a blog, too xo

  4. I think it’s beautiful that you’re thinking all of this through so deeply, and that you clearly love and appreciate both of your sisters for who they are.

Your perspective is welcomed:

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